Alabama head coach Nick Saban always seems to have some ideas to ponder, if people are willing to listen. The head coach of the Crimson Tide was vocal about his desire for the SEC to move to a nine-game conference schedule in football, but that ultimately was rejected. Now Saban says he has a plan that could help improve the bowl system as we move into the era of the College Football Playoff.
Let the selection committee do all the work in pairing bowl match-ups and do away with conference tie-ins.
“I think we have to change the whole system,” Saban said Tuesday on a coaching tour according to Al.com. “I understand everybody’s point of view on this. Everybody wants to be bowl eligible, they look at it like if we have another conference game, that’s seven more losses of everyone which would minimize the number of teams that could get in bowl games.”
Saban then went on to suggest the work being done by the selection committee for the College Football Playoff could be expanded to all of the bowls.
“Well I think on the other end of it, the committee that’s going to pick the top four teams for the playoff are really picking the top 12 teams for all six sort of championship bowl games, whatever they call it now,” Saban said. “Well, why don’t we do it like basketball and let them pick all the teams for all the bowl games. Then it doesn’t matter what your record is.”
A few teams with worthy records have been left out of bowl games in recent years. Saban’s hypothetical idea may be one that could prevent that from happening again as conference tie-ins have the opportunity to block a team with a better record from getting int a bowl game. It is an interesting idea by Saban, but considering how the bowl system is run by corporate sponsorships and big money conference deals, it seems unlikely to happen.
But thanks for the suggestion, Saban!
For the second time this offseason, a Koenning has been added to a new Power Five coaching staff. And, for the second time since taking over in Lawrence two months ago, Les Miles has hired an offensive coordinator.
Jan. 10, Troy announced that Chip Lindsey, hired by Miles as Kansas’ offensive coordinator the month before, would take over as the Sun Belt program’s head football coach and replace Neal Brown, who left to take the head job at West Virginia. Two weeks after Lindsay’s departure, KU confirmed Tuesday that Les Koenning will take over for Lindsey as the Jayhawks’ coordinator.
Koenning, whose cousin, Vic Koenning, was named as WVU’s defensive coordinator by Brown earlier this month, spent the 2018 season as the running backs coach at Southern Miss.
“We are so excited to add an offensive coordinator with the experience of Les Koenning,” said Miles in a statement. “He has proven to be an innovative offensive mind who has great success recruiting and developing offensive skill players, particularly at the quarterback position.”
Koenning has served as the coordinator at six stops at the FBS level — UAB (2016-17), Mississippi State (2009-13), Texas A&M (2003-07), Alabama (2001-02), Houston (1999) and Duke (1998).
You can add yet another name to the burgeoning free-agent quarterback pool.
Tuesday night, Nick Starkel used a tweet to announce that he has decided to transfer from Texas A&M and “will explore finishing my final two years of eligibility at another program.” Starkel will graduate from A&M this June, which would make him eligible to use the first of those two years of eligibility immediately in 2019.
Starkel was the Aggies’ starter to open the 2017 season, but suffered a broken ankle in that game that sidelined him for nearly two months. It turned out to not be a season-ending injury as Starkel returned to start the last four games of Kevin Sumlin‘s final season in College Station, a late-season stint that included a career-high 499-yard effort in a Belk Bowl loss to Wake Forest.
Entering the 2018 offseason as the incumbent, but with a new head coach in Jimbo Fisher in place, Starkel lost the starting job to Kellen Mond and played in just five games this past season — the first four of 2018 plus the bowl game. In those appearances, the redshirt sophomore completed 15-of-22 passes for a touchdown.
The A&M portion of his playing career will end with the Texas native having totaled 1,962 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions on 138–of-227 passing.
Barring a change of heart in the next couple of weeks, there won’t be a Primetime legacy in Tallahassee this coming season.
In October of last year, Shilo Sanders, the son of former Florida State great and College Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, received a scholarship offer from his father’s alma mater. three months later, the elder Sanders, a 2019 prospect, announced via video that he has committed to playing his college football at South Carolina.
The defensive back’s decision to commit to the Gamecocks came not long after a second visit to Columbia.
While holding an offer from FSU, Sanders chose USC over a group of schools that included Colorado State, Nebraska and Tennessee. He was also offered by, among others, Georgia, Oregon, Oregon State and UCF.
CSU was the only other school to which he took an official visit.
The elder Sanders is the offensive coordinator at his son Shilo’s school, Cedar Hill (Tex.) Trinity Christian High School. Shilo’s younger brother, 2021 prospect Shedeur Sanders, is a wide receiver at the school as well.
Shilo Sanders is rated as a three-star recruit on 247Sports.com’s composite board for the 2019 cycle.
Not long after losing a position coach to an SEC West rival, Joe Moorhead turned to an area of the country familiar to him to fill his Mississippi State staff void.
Tuesday, MSU announced that Terry Richardson has been hired by Moorhead to serve as the Bulldogs’ running backs coach. Additionally, Richardson will hold the title of assistant head coach.
Richardson will replace Charles Huff, who’s expected to move on to a job on Nick Saban‘s Alabama coaching staff. That move has yet to be confirmed by the Crimson Tide.
“Terry has coached running backs for nearly 20 years at both the college and NFL levels,” Moorhead said in a statement. “He has a firm grasp of our offense and will maximize the potential we have in our running backs room. Having played and coached in the NFL, he understands what it takes to develop players for the next level. Terry is also a dynamic recruiter with proven experience in the South, especially in the state of Florida. We are excited to welcome someone of Terry’s caliber to the Mississippi State family.”
The past two seasons, Richardson was the running backs coach at UConn. He’s also spent time in that position on staffs at Maryland (2015), Miami (2011-12) and again at UConn (1999-2010). During that first stint with the Huskies, Moorhead was that team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
From 2013-14, he was the running backs for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
“This is a great opportunity to work with great people at an outstanding university in the best conference in America,” Richardson said. “I am excited to reconnect with Coach Moorhead and work with him again. He is a tremendous football coach and an even better person. We will be well-versed on all five phases of running back play, and our group will maximize our opportunities to make a major impact in winning football games.”